$800K grant awarded to Rhode Island Hospital, Brown University for 1st peer-based addiction intervention study

Researchers from Providence, R.I.-based Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital in Providence received an $800,000 grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation to conduct the country's first randomized trial of a peer-based recovery intervention for patients with a high risk of overdose. 

For the four-year trial, researchers will compare peer recovery support programs to current care procedures, which include just one session with a social worker for emergency department patients admitted for an opioid overdose.

Peer recovery support specialists must be in recovery from substance abuse for at least two years and receive special training in addiction support and treatment referrals.

"We're looking at two promising interventions: social workers, who have specific clinical training and expertise and are the standard of care, and the peer recovery support specialists, who are unique in that they bring their life experiences with addiction and follow up with the patients, often several months after discharge from the emergency department," Brandon Marshall, PhD, principal investigator on the grant and associate professor of epidemiology at Brown University's School of Public Health, said in a press release. "The best outcome is if both interventions do really well at increasing uptake of treatment and reducing subsequent overdoses."

The following organizations will also participate in the peer recovery support program: Rhode Island Department of Health, Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Providence-based Lifespan and Pawtucket, R.I.-based Anchor Recovery Community Center.

"Peer recovery support programs are a vital part of our fight against the overdose epidemic in Rhode Island," Tom Coderre, a senior advisor to Rhode Island Democratic Gov.Gina Raimondo said in the press release. "We hope that this randomized controlled trial confirms these programs are effective at connecting people with lifesaving resources and anticipate the results will encourage other states to undertake similar programs."

More articles on opioids:

Pennsylvania moves one step closer to safe injection site: 4 things to know
The opioid epidemic: How population health analytics can combat the crisis overtaking America
Medicaid expansion not linked to higher opioid misuse, study suggests

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